Anbrown Willis Bowen, 94, formerly of Tampa, Fla., Marietta and Alpharetta, Ga., passed away peacefully in the early morning of February 13, 2019, under the care of the wonderful staff at Lanier Village Estates in Gainesville, Ga.
Anbrown was preceded in death by her late husband, decorated World War II veteran Robert Esley Bowen Jr., who died at age 87 on Oct. 27, 2007. The couple had moved to Lanier Village Estates in 2005 from their last farm on Phillips Road in Alpharetta, Ga. Bob and Anbrown had been married 65 years at the time of his death.
A native of old Florida, Anbrown was born in a tourist cottage on the Suwannee River in Suwannee Springs, Fla., on July 27, 1924. Her mother, Loyselle Brown Willis, was assisted in Anbrown's birth in the cottage by Anbrown's sister, Loyselle June Willis and her grandmother, Annie Tallulah Bethel York (who was a nurse). Anbrown's mother had been told by her doctor in Levy County, where she lived, that swimming in the springs would help with her pregnancy and delivery, which it apparently did.
Anbrown's love of horses came early in life. She always enjoyed telling the story of how, living as a pre-teen with her mother and an uncle in Valdosta, Ga., she dreamed of hunting and jumping fine horses, but settled in those days for riding the family mule - which she in fact taught to jump.
Later moving to Tampa with her mother and sister, Anbrown recalled riding the trolley from their apartment near the University of Tampa down Bayshore Boulevard to take riding lessons near the Tampa Yacht Club.
She attended Woodrow Wilson Elementary and Plant High School in Tampa, where she graduated with honors at 16 in 1941. Anbrown was a freshman at the University of Tampa in 1941 when she met her future husband, Bob, a tight-end on the UT Spartans Football Team and member of the famous UT Rathole Gang. They were married in St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Tampa on Nov. 11, 1942. They lived briefly at Fort Benning, Ga., before Bob, a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army, shipped out for Europe in March of 1943. After being wounded in Belgium in early 1945, Bob was hospitalized in England and later returned to Tampa and his bride and young son, Robert III.
An avid horsewoman, Anbrown was well known and respected in the equestrian community in Cobb and Fulton counties in Georgia, where she and her husband owned hunter-jumper horse farms and stables, where she loved to ride, and where she taught their daughters, Linda and Susan, the fine arts of horsemanship. Both daughters became champions in hunter-jumper competitions throughout the South.
Bob and Anbrown are survived by their five children: Robert Esley Bowen III, 75, currently of Roswell, Ga.; James Andrew Bowen, 72, who resides in Tampa; Charles Samuel Bowen, 69, of Sautee, Ga.; Linda Ann Bowen, 66, of Baltimore, Md.; and Susan Elizabeth Bowen, 61, of Cumming, Ga.; eight grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, Anbrown requested that donations in her name may be made to the Smile Train charity (https://www.smiletrain.org/).
Services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, February 15, 2019 in the Chapel of Flanigan Funeral Home, Buford, GA with Dr. Cynthia Park officiating. Interment to follow at Greenlawn cemetery in Roswell, GA. The Family will receive friend from 11:00 a,m. to 1:00 p.m. on Friday, February 15, 2019 at the funeral home.